Barnstable is the largest municipality in Cape Cod with a population of over 45,000. The city has a long history, founded back in 1638. It has been a popular transportation hub and destination for tourists since the 19th century. Some of the best beaches in Cape Cod are found in Barnstable, making the city attractive for tourists from all around the world. Barnstable won the All-American City Award in 2007, which recognizes communities that set examples in terms of citizen collaboration.
The vibrant residents of Barnstable have also set an example for other cities in terms of solar power adoption. The total capacity of completed and planned solar power projects exceeds 12 megawatts:
The SunShot Solar Outreach Partnership, a program from the US Department of Energy, even published a case study describing the successful adoption of solar power in Barnstable.
Electricity in Barnstable is provided by Eversource, who charges some of the highest electricity rates in the nation, exceeding 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during peak demand hours. Being an investor-owned utility, Eversource also tends to increase its rates on a yearly basis; Eversource rates increased by around 10% between 2016 and 2017. Since local electricity is expensive and is expected to increase each year, installing solar panels can lead to substantial savings for home and business owners.
In addition to reducing your power bills, generating electricity with solar panels will also make you eligible to receive Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). You are granted one SREC for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy generated, even if you use that electricity yourself! All utility company in Massachusetts are required to obtain 25% of their energy from clean sources by 2030. Instead of developing solar projects themselves, these utilities can buy SRECs from home and business owners who install solar to meet their goal. As of early 2017, each SREC sells for around $270 – when you add this to energy savings, you will earn $470 for every 1,000 kWh produced by your solar panels.
Home and business owners are also eligible for several tax incentives. There are four separate tax benefits available for solar panel systems in Barnstable:
If you cannot afford to pay for solar panels upfront, there are several financing options available to home and business owners who qualify. Purchasing a solar system with a loan allows you to take advantage of the government incentives and start saving with solar immediately without having to put any money into your system upfront.
Tax incentives, SREC sales, and energy savings make solar an excellent investment. Combining all these benefits makes solar panels one of the best property upgrades in Barnstable, MA.